Editor’s note: We’re still recovering from all the craziness of our booth last week Friday at Eat the Street: Philippines in Kaka’ako! The Street Grindz gang has officially relocated its monthly eatery event in front of the Kaka’ako Waterfront Park. Our interim writer, Reina, recaps all the details about Eat the Street through her own perspective.
Written by: Reinalyn Macaraeg
Photo: Jenny Paleracio
Eat The Street has given us another Friday night full of delicious food and the theme was Philippines! Both locals and tourists gathered in Kaka’ako and I went ahead and asked what they thought of their food and like how Eat the Street wanted it, it was “sarap sarap” (delicious)!
A lot of people were looking forward to the Filipino delicacies: halo-halo, adobo and banana lumpia. I went in line for Elena’s halo-halo. Many vendors also made their own adaptations of Filipino themed food.
“I’m looking forward to the halo-halo and adobo,” said Leslie, a visiting tourist from Virginia. She grew up in a Filipino family and was here to visit Hawaii.
The Balut eating contest was utterly new to me. Personally, it has been years since I have seen someone eat Balut right in front of me. I have eaten balut before but eating balut without salt in it? I would never think of trying it but we had brave contestants who dared to do so.
The winner of the contest, Javier Mendez, ate 7 balut eggs in one day. He tried it for the very first time, then ate five more for the contest and another egg after the contest! He mentioned that he has eaten many other exotic food such as bat and ume, so he said that balut was not that big of a deal for him. Plus, he did his research on it! He knew it was safe and what the egg would have looked like if it was too old. He certainly knew the balut eating details.
Another contestant of the balut eating contest joined thinking that it was merely boiled eggs. Rayne, a fifth grader from Kipapa Elementary, “freaked out” when she found out what balut really was. Her curiosity, on the other hand, also brought her to the Yelp stands where she learned tinikling basics along with her softball team. It’s really refreshing to look at younger people learn more about culture.
In addition, SALO, a Filipino pop up diner, was also a featured vendor at Eat the Street. We talked to Josh, a SALO project volunteer, and learned about Yana Gilbuena, the owner of SALO, and her pop-up dinners. Her kare-kare lumpia was a delicacy and one of its kind. She is traveling in all of the 50 states of America to share her knowledge of Filipino food.
But of course, let’s not put aside the vendors who sold their usual food such as milk tea, crepe, macarons, poke and everything else! People also came for their usual Eat The Street go tos. I tried Ono Pops for the first time and tried Ume Thai Basil. Josh’s goal was to “bend the flavors together without breaking it.”
There were also vendors who made their own adaptation of food to contribute to the Philippine theme. Girls Who Bakes Next Door, Hawaiian Twisted Tater and Pt. Suisse Crepes made their own ube flavored specialties and they were all amazing.
It was my second time going to the event and I was treated well by both the vendors and people. I am definitely looking forward to the next Eat The Street!